November brings shorter days and cooler temperatures.But the light and colours of November are special, getting out to the woods and wild can be very rewarding with our visiting birds and surprise finds in hedgerows.
Now is the time to go searching for Rose hips which shine from the hedges. Sloes are ready for picking also and there may be some Spanish or sweet Chestnuts still around.
Fields, lawn and verges can yield Sorrel and even some Vetch or wild Marjoram.It’s also a good time to dig up roots of Dandelion, chop and dry for dandelion coffee, I picked up a pack in a shop today, 100grams for 3.19 euro, that’s 31.90 euro per kilo! it was made in Germany and packed in England, why not make your own.
Veg and flower gardens, especially my untidy one, have Corn salad, Chickweed and Hairy bitter cress.
Walls and stony places can yield Navelworth and House Leek.
Watercress is a good November forage if you have a clean source.
Woods are full of beautiful and varied fungi, admire them all and maybe you will encounter some Hedgehog, Blewits, Puffballs , Chanterelles or Cloudy agarics.Be sensible when collecting new species and identifying, when in any doubt ask a knowledgeable person and with some, such as Blewits and Cloudy agaric try just a little first time as some people suffer gastric upset.
Grab you coat hat and gloves, Kids of all ages enjoy, kick up the leaves while you’re out and make the most of the daylight.
For a different kind of forage, with two or three adults a word on “fashion” try wearing earthy colours, browns and greens, forget the deodorant, aftershave or perfume, go quietly.Why? well if you go quietly and blend in to your surrounding you have a much better chance of spotting wild life, a kingfisher on a river, a flock of tiny coal tits feeding, a deer .Just sit quietly for even ten mins sipping that warming drink and watching.
On a recent foray while standing at the edge of a puddle a mouse popped out of the grass at our feet and plunged into the water, swam across the puddle, hauled itself up the bank and sat at a safe distance watching us.A memorable encounter for me and maybe for the mouse too.
In September we came across two male goats engaged in battle,smashing and crashing their headgear together, exhausting themselves in an effort to impress the ladies.